The Municipality of North Cowichan wants to hear from residents about future plans for curbside garbage, recycling, and kitchen waste collection in the community.
A survey is now live at www.northcowichan.ca/curbsidesurvey, seeking input from residents on a possible transition from manual collection, in which workers lift and dump waste carts into trucks, to automated collection that uses mechanical arms to lift and empty these carts.
Paper copies of the survey are available at Municipal Hall, located at 7030 Trans-Canada Hwy.
Automated collection can offer additional services for residents, including yard waste collection and larger garbage cart options to accommodate larger families.
“We want to hear what the community thinks about this proposed change because we know it will have an impact on our residents,” said Deputy Mayor Rosalie Sawrie.
“Waste collection is a critical service, and delivering it efficiently and safely is essential. Council will consider the input from residents, along with operational planning and financial factors, when the topic is discussed later this year.”
The municipality’s four garbage trucks currently in service all need to be replaced in the next few years offering an opportunity to make the service switch and keep in line with other Vancouver Island districts and municipalities that have already implemented automated curb-side collection.
This will reduce work-related injuries to collectors who lift between 3.5 and 5.2 tonnes per work day, making it difficult for the municipality to retain employees.
The existing manual collection system has resulted in significant cost to North Cowichan from injuries to staff, resulting in 116 lost work days in 2016 and 2017.
Another of the proposed program’s goals would be to increase resident participation and maximize the diversion of material from the landfill, and it’s believed the new system would help do so.
The current cost of curbside waste collection is $111 per year, per household, while a new automated system would cost between $168 to $182 per year.
Questions can be emailed to email@example.com.
Two online information sessions will also be hosted on the issue and registration for them can be completed at northcowichan.ca/curbsidesurvey.
The first is on Aug. 31, from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., and the other is on Sept. 2, from noon to 1 p.m.